15 min


90 min.


15 min.


Kaiser Rolls

One of the most traditional German rolls are Kaiser rolls or Kaisersemmel called in German. Kaiser means emperor and Semmel is the name for a roll in Austria and Bavaria. The recipe for this crispy and fluffy roll goes back to the 17th century. You can even find them on art paintings in castles from this time.

Recipe Video


Kaiser Rolls Recipe

Kaiser Rolls

Angela Schofield
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine Austrian, Bavarian, German
Servings 8 Rolls


  • 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water plus
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 tbsp. lard or butter
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. barley malt optional


  • Add flour and barley malt (optional) to a large bowl, mix well and form a well in the middle.
  • Add yeast and sugar to the well.
  • Pour 1/2 cup of warm water in the well and stir gently while incorporating some flour.
  • Cover and let rise in warm place for 20 minutes.
  • Melt lard or butter in 1 1/2 cups warm water.
  • Add water mixture and mix well.
  • Add salt and knead for about 10 minutes. (you can do this by hand or in a stand mixer with a knead hook)
  • Cover and let rise in warm place for 40 minutes.
  • Divide dough into 8 pieces and roll into a ball.
  • Flatten the roll slightly and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Press a Kaiser roll stamp into each ball of dough.
  • Cover with clean kitchen towel and let rise for at least 20 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 400ºF and bake for about 20 minutes.


You can use an apple cutter instead of the Kaiser roll stamp which gives the roll the traditional Bavarian roll pattern. If you don´t have an apple cutter, cut a large cross in the surface of the roll.

Serving Tip:

You can decorate the rolls with sesame or poppy seeds. Spray lightly with water and sprinkle with seeds
before baking.